News & Resources
William K. Harrington, the U.S. Trustee for Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine and Rhode Island (Region 1), has been designated by Attorney General Eric Holder also to serve Region 2 replacing Tracy Hope Davis effective Nov. 27.
One of our lender clients, a New York City-based Federal Credit Union, came to us with a dilemma.
It seems the credit union was not receiving post-petition mortgage payments from its borrower, a chapter 13 debtor. Nor was the client receiving distribution payments from the debtor’s chapter 13 trustee. The lender had relied upon foreclosure counsel to handle the chapter 13 filing. Unfortunately, foreclosure counsel, not familiar with chapter 13 practice, only filed a Notice of Appearance and nothing else, not even a proof of claim.
Between 1998 and 2007, home mortgage debt nearly tripled from 4 trillion dollars to 10 trillion dollars. This mortgage boom resulted from easy lending and questionable subprime market practices. When the housing bubble burst, the economy tumbled. Many borrowers found themselves both unable to make mortgage payments and owners of real property worth less than what they owed. In response, many homeowners filed bankruptcy petitions either under chapter 7 to surrender their home, or chapter 13 to stop a foreclosure, repay pre-petition arrears, and hold on to their home.
By Michael L. Moskowitz
On August 15, 2013, the Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure of the Judicial Conference of the United States released their proposed amendments to the Bankruptcy Rules and Forms. The proposed amendments, rules committee reports, and other information are posted on the Judiciary’s website.
In a recent Southern District of New York decision, Judge Lorna Schofield held that Kucker & Bruh, LLP (“K&B”), a debt collection firm, violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”), by misrepresenting the character, amount and legal status of rent arrears allegedly owed by 82-year-old tenant Rafael Lee.
A third revisit to purposeful evidence destruction—even when found to be “not malevolent”—was not a charm for the party doing the damage, according to a recent decision by Honorable Shira A. Scheindlin, who practically invented the “spoliation of evidence” sanction in New York’s federal district court for the Southern District about 10 years ago.
On July 31, 2013, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the so-called “Shadow Docket” Bill in connection with New York residential foreclosure actions. The bill adds a new section 3012-b to New York Civil Practice Law and Rules (“CPLR”). The new law also amends CPLR § 3408.
The new law is intended to promote the honesty and transparency in the residential foreclosure process by clarifying the obligations of lenders’ attorneys to the court and eliminating the growing number of “shadow docket” cases. Such cases are held in legal limbo while awaiting critical information necessary to trigger the scheduling of mandatory settlement conferences. The Office of Court Administration estimates that as of July 7, 2013, there are between 5,000 to 7,000 shadow foreclosure cases.
On August 15, 2013, Lori Lapin Jones, as Trustee of Peninsula Hospital Center, a chapter 11 bankruptcy case pending in the Eastern District of New York (Brooklyn Vicinage), filed more than three dozen adversary proceeding cases seeking to recover hundreds of thousands of dollars in money or property for the benefit of the debtor’s creditors.
In re Marlow, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee affirmed that the debtor failed to demonstrate that paying his graduate and law school student loans constituted an undue hardship pursuant to the Brunner test, which was adopted by the Sixth Circuit. In re Marlow, 2013 WL 3515726, at * 3 (E.D. Tenn. 2013).
Second Circuit Confirms Madoff Trustee Lacks Standing to Assert Common Law Claims against Third-Party Financial Institutions
In Picard v. JPMorgan Chase & Co. (In re Bernard L. Madoff Invest. Secs. LLC), the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held last month that the “doctrine of in pari delicto" precluded Irving H. Picard, the trustee under the Securities Investor Protection Act (“SIPA”), from pursuing JP Morgan Chase & Co., HSBC Bank PLC, and other third-party defendants, on behalf of defrauded customers for certain common law claims. In re Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities, LLC, 2013 WL 3064848 (2d. Cir. June 20, 2013).
Several recent decisions demonstrate that courts are reconsidering the treatment of student loan debt dischargeability in bankruptcy under the “undue hardship” exception of section 523(a)(8) of the Bankruptcy Code. If the trend continues, the long-standing Brunner test may become a mere “relic of times gone by.” Roth v. Educational Credit Management Corp., 490 B.R. 908 (9th Cir. BAP 2013).
As lenders are aware, foreclosure proceedings in New York have changed considerably subsequent to the enactment of CPLR § 3408 and similar legislation, which placed additional obligations on lenders commencing a foreclosure action with respect to a homeowner’s primary residence.
ALERT -- RECENT OPINION OF THE SECOND CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS REGARDING REPOSSESSED COLLATERAL AND POTENTIAL DAMAGES – In re Weber
Last month the Second Circuit Court of Appeals (“Second Circuit”) issued a decision of interest to all secured lenders. The case, Christopher Weber v SEFCU, rejected the reasoning of the District Court for the Northern District of New York in the Alberto case that had allowed a secured creditor to essentially sit on repossessed collateral until the debtor makes an offer of adequate protection. This decision now becomes the law of New York and Connecticut, unless the matter is appealed and reversed by the United States Supreme Court which is highly unlikely.
CPLR §3215(c) Mandates Moving For Entry of Judgment Within One Year After Default Or Face Dismissal – A Cautionary Tale and A Success Story
Our client, a major New York-area Credit Union, hired outside counsel to file a residential foreclosure action involving a home loan. The complaint, filed by another law firm, was not verified by an officer or employee of the foreclosing lender. Rather, it was signed only by the attorney. Defendant homeowner failed to file an answer to the complaint...
In a tangled commercial dispute, a law firm and its principal owner, without counsel, sued a well-respected New York City business equipment and technology services company for breach of contract. Problem was, the law firm targeted the wrong party in a grudge match over a faulty printer...
As authorized in Section 603(a) of Public Law 109-8, the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (BAPCPA), the United States Trustee Program (USTP) established procedures for independent audit firms to audit petitions, schedules, and other information in consumer bankruptcy cases. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 586(f), the USTP contracted with independent accounting firms to perform audits in cases designated by the USTP. Due to budgetary constraints, the USTP has indefinitely suspended its designation of cases subject to audit and has notified the independent accounting firms performing the audits. Pursuant to Section 603(a) of BAPCPA and 28 U.S.C. § 586(a)(6), after the conclusion of the fiscal year the USTP will make public information concerning the aggregate results of the debtor audits performed during fiscal year 2013.
Weltman & Moskowitz, LLP, a New York City-based business and bankruptcy law firm, has announced the ribbon-cutting for its extensively renovated midtown east location near Grand Central Station.
MICHAEL MOSKOWITZ PARTICIPATES IN THE PLAINVIEW-OLD BETHPAGE JFK HIGH SCHOOL’S 25th ANNUAL MOOT COURT COMPETITION, HELD ON March 20, 2013
On March 20, 2013, Michael L. Moskowitz, a founding member of Weltman & Moskowitz, LLP, participated as one of the judges in the Plainview-Old Bethpage John F. Kennedy High School’s 25th Annual Marvin Hazan Moot Court Competition.
Creditors Need to Take Notice of the Recent Amendments to the Federal Bankruptcy Rules Which Affect the Filing of Proofs of Claims
The Advisory Committee on Bankruptcy Rules for the Judicial Conference of the United States which is made up of federal judges, bankruptcy attorneys, and others, proposed amendments to Bankruptcy Rules 1007, 2015, 3001, 7054, and 7056. This Alert focuses on Bankruptcy Rule 3001.
NEW YORK, NY – On October 18, 2012, the New York Court of Appeals held that federal credit unions are subject to New York State’s Mortgage Recording Tax. The Mortgage Recording Tax requires a payment to New York State of one half of one percent (.5%) for the privilege of recording a mortgage.rpt info here.
Richard E. Weltman, legal counsel to the International Executives Associate (IEA) and a member of the Board of Directors of the Executives Association of New York City, attended the IEA Leadership Conference held October 2-4, 2012 in Reno, Nevada. The conference was hosted by the Executives Association of Reno.
On December 1, 2011, changes to the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure (“Bankruptcy Rules”) complicated the filing of proofs of claim by secured creditors in chapter 13 cases. These new rules require secured creditors to file and continually update filed proofs of claim.
NEW YORK, NY – The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit recently ruled that chapter 7 bankruptcy debtors can strip off, or cancel, wholly unsecured mortgage liens. The per curiam opinion, issued May 11, 2012, marks a significant departure from the standard Chapter 7 practice in most districts.
Higher education costs continue to sky rocket with no end in sight. Students are incurring potentially crushing amounts of debt. Americans owe more than $1 trillion dollars in student loans, which has now surpassed the national credit card debt. While the surge in educational debt is worrisome, an even larger concern is private student loans. Private loans are a riskier way to finance education than through their federally subsidized counterparts.
Weltman & Moskowitz, LLP is pleased to announced it has signed a lease renewal for its New York CIty headquarters located at 270 Madison Avenue. The lease runs through December 31, 2022.
As credit markets tighten, professionals and business owners alike have trouble finding access to credit to fund and grow business operations. Media reports indicate loans are harder to obtain and asset-to-debt ratios are stricter than ever. As cash dwindles the debt load rises. For the overwhelmed business owner bankruptcy is only one answer. There are other alternatives.
CREDIT UNION LENDER MUST IMMEDIATELY RETURN TO DEBTOR REPOSSESSED VEHICLE UPON NOTICE OF BANKRUPTCY FILING
On December 22, 2010, an upstate New York bankruptcy court in an adversary proceeding filed by debtor Christopher Weber against SEFCU (“Credit Union”), granted Credit Union’s motion for summary judgment.
HOW TO DEAL WITH LOUSY CREDIT REPORTS?: Why Knowing What Your Creditors are Saying About You Can Help You Take Charge
Often people with less than perfect credit scores are surprised that locating one standardized credit profile or a “uniform” credit report is more myth than reality. Judgments, repossessions, slow payment history, tax liens--as well as bankruptcy filings--are reported to a varying degree by creditor filings or with public record databases maintained by one of the three largest consumer credit reporting agencies (“CRAs”). Sometimes adverse information is reported by other sources as well. In order to learn how badly your credit rating may have been damaged, you must first identify what personally identifiable credit information has been reported about you to the CRAs.
MICHAEL MOSKOWITZ PARTICIPATES AS AN "APPELLATE JUDGE" FOR FIRST-YEAR HOFSTRA LAW SCHOOL STUDENTS ON APRIL 14, 2012
NEW YORK, NY - On April 14, 2012, Michael L. Moskowitz, a founding member of Weltman & Moskowitz, LLP, participated, for the eleventh consecutive year, as one of three "appellate judges" sitting at the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University with oral arguments made by first-year law students.
MICHAEL MOSKOWITZ PARTICIPATES IN THE PLAINVIEW-OLD BETHPAGE JFK HIGH SCHOOL'S 23rd ANNUAL MOOT COURT COMPETITION, HELD ON March 29, 2012
NEW YORK, NY - On March 29, 2012, Michael L. Moskowitz, a founding member of Weltman & Moskowitz, LLP, participated as one of the judges in the Plainview-Old Bethpage John F. Kennedy High School's 23rd Annual Moot Court Competition. The tournament was co-sponsored by the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University.
NEW YORK, NY -
Weltman & Moskowitz, LLP is pleased to announce that Melissa A. Guseynov has joined the firm as an associate in the Bankruptcy and Creditors’ Rights Group.
MICHAEL MOSKOWITZ PARTICIPATES AS AN "APPELLATE JUDGE" FOR FIRST-YEAR HOFSTRA LAW SCHOOL STUDENTS ON APRIL 9, 2011.
NEW YORK, NY - On April 9, 2011, Michael L. Moskowitz, a founding member of Weltman & Moskowitz, LLP, participated, for the eleventh consecutive year, as one of three "appellate judges" sitting at Hofstra University School of Law in connection with oral arguments made by first-year law students.
MICHAEL MOSKOWITZ PARTICIPATES IN THE PLAINVIEW-OLD BETHPAGE JFK HIGH SCHOOL'S 23rd ANNUAL MOOT COURT COMPETITION, HELD ON April 7, 2011.
NEW YORK, NY -
Richard E. Weltman, a founding partner in the law firm of Weltman & Moskowitz, LLP, was recently elected to the Board of Directors of the Executives' Association of Greater New York (EANYC) for a three-year term. Mr. Weltman has been a member of EANYC since 2004.
NEW YORK, NY - On December 23, 2010, outgoing Governor David Paterson signed major new legislation increasing the New York homestead exemption and other New York property exemptions. The law makes New York more competitive with other states. A chart of the major changes is set forth below.
ATTORNEY RICHARD WELTMAN RECOGNIZED FOR OUTSTANDING SERVICE BY NEW JERSEY'S FEDERAL BANKRUPTCY COURTS.
FAIR LAWN, NJ - Richard E. Weltman, a New York and New Jersey business attorney concentrating on creditor protection, debt relief, and business counseling, and founding member of the law firm of Weltman & Moskowitz, LLP, was recently acknowledged by the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey for his service to New Jersey's low-income consumers in need of debt relief and bankruptcy services.
PENTAGON FCU SUCCESSFULLY OPPOSES DEBTOR'S EFFORTS TO "LIEN STRIP" ITS SECOND MORTGAGE IN NY BANKRUPTCY COURT.
NEW YORK, NY - A chapter 7 debtor recently filed a motion before Bankruptcy Judge Alan Trust in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of New York seeking to avoid Pentagon Federal Credit Union's (PenFed) second mortgage (also known as "lien-stripping"). Weltman & Moskowitz successfully opposed debtor's motion on both procedural and substantive grounds, ensuring that PenFed's mortgage was enforced as written.
MICHAEL MOSKOWITZ PARTICIPATED IN THE PLAINVIEW-OLD BETHPAGE JFK HIGH SCHOOL'S 22nd ANNUAL MOOT COURT COMPETITION, HELD ON March 25, 2010.
NEW YORK, NY - On March 25, 2010, Michael L. Moskowitz, a founding member of Weltman & Moskowitz, LLP, participated as one of the judges in the Plainview-Old Bethpage John F. Kennedy High School's 22nd Annual Moot Court Competition. The tournament was co-sponsored by the Hofstra University School of Law.
NEW YORK, NY - On November 26, 2008, Big box retailer bankruptcy filings are expected to mushroom following predicted tepid holiday sales this year, posing vexing challenges for their suppliers.
MICHAEL L. MOSKOWITZ TEACHES COURSE CONCERNING IMPACT OF BANKRUPTCY REFORM ON CONSUMERS TO DELOITTE, LLP STAFF MEMBERS
NEW YORK, NY - On September 25, 2008, Michael L. Moskowitz, a founding member of the law firm of Weltman & Moskowitz, LLP, presented an informative seminar to Deloitte, LLP professionals and support personnel at their New York City headquarters. Deloitte, LLP is one of the largest accounting and consulting firms in the world. The seminar was sponsored by the Deloitte Women's Initiative Learning and Development Committee.
MICHAEL MOSKOWITZ PARTICIPATED IN THE PLAINVIEW-OLD BETHPAGE JFK HIGH SCHOOL'S 20th ANNUAL MOOT COURT COMPETITION, HELD ON April 3, 2008
NEW YORK, NY - On April 3, 2008, Michael L. Moskowitz, a founding member of Weltman & Moskowitz, LLP, participated as one of the judges in the Plainview-Old Bethpage John F. Kennedy High School's 20th Annual Moot Court Competition. The tournament was co-sponsored by the Hofstra University School of Law.
MICHAEL MOSKOWITZ PARTICIPATED IN THE PLAINVIEW-OLD BETHPAGE JFK HIGH SCHOOL'S 19th ANNUAL MOOT COURT COMPETITION, HELD ON MARCH 29, 2007.
NEW YORK, NY - On March 29, 2007, Michael L. Moskowitz, a founding member of Weltman & Moskowitz, LLP, participated as one of the judges in the Plainview-Old Bethpage John F. Kennedy High School's 19th Annual Moot Court Competition. The tournament was co-sponsored by the Hofstra University School of Law.
NEW YORK, NY - Michael L. Moskowitz, a founding partner in the law firm of Weltman & Moskowitz, LLP, was recently elected to the Board of Directors of the Executives' Association of Greater New York (EANYC) for a three-year term. Mr. Moskowitz has been a member of the Executives' Association since 2004.
NEW YORK, NY - Richard E. Weltman, a founding member of the law firm of Weltman & Moskowitz, LLP, recently presented an informative seminar to members of the Estate Planning Committee of the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants at their FAE Conference Center in New York City.
Collect with Confidence: 12 ways to get paid when Key Customer or Supplier Files (or Threatens) Bankruptcy
Whether you sell goods or services, your chance of doing business with a company now or soon to be embroiled in bankruptcy proceedings is probably not as remote as you'd hope it to be. While it may not be your job to keep another business from falling in with the chapter 7 or chapter 11 crowd, it makes sense to limit your exposure to the financial woes of a key customer or supplier.
RICHARD WELTMAN HONORED FOR HIS OUTSTANDING PRO BONO CONTRIBUTIONS BY LEGAL SERVICES OF NEW JERSEY AND THE NEW JERSEY STATE BAR ASSOCIATION
NEW YORK, NY - Richard E. Weltman, a renowned New York and New Jersey bankruptcy and business lawyer, and a founding member of the law firm of Weltman & Moskowitz, LLP, was honored on May 3, 2006 by Legal Services of New Jersey and the New Jersey State Bar Association at the 20th Annual Legal Services Awards Reception for his tireless efforts on behalf of indigent consumers in need of bankruptcy assistance.
NEW YORK, NY -December 7, 2006. According to Richard E. Weltman, a pre-eminent bankruptcy lawyer with offices in New York and New Jersey, 2006 bankruptcy filings nationwide are down from one year ago, although there is some indication the trend may reverse in first quarter 2007 as a result of rising interest rates on adjustable-rate mortgages, among other factors.
RICHARD WELTMAN RECEIVES 2006 APPRECIATION AWARD FROM NORTHEAST NEW JERSEY LEGAL SERVICES PRO BONO PROGRAM
NEW YORK, NY - Richard E. Weltman, a renowned New York and New Jersey bankruptcy and business lawyer, and a founding member of the law firm of Weltman & Moskowitz, LLP, was recently honored by Northeast New Jersey Legal Services at its annual awards reception for his tireless efforts on behalf of indigent consumers in need of bankruptcy assistance.
NEW YORK, NY Despite claims earlier this year that bankruptcy practice would return to normal, the bottom is continuing to fall out.
RICHARD WELTMAN AND MICHAEL MOSKOWITZ TEACH BANKRUPTCY REFORM TO NEW YORK STATE SOCIETY OF CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANTS
NEW YORK, NY - Richard E. Weltman and Michael L. Moskowitz, founding members of Weltman & Moskowitz, LLP, presented a practical seminar on recent changes to the Bankruptcy Code in a Half-Day Bankruptcy Conference to the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants at their FAE Conference Center.
NEW YORK, NY - By a vote of 302 to 126, on April 14, 2005, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bankruptcy reform bill which will become, for the most part, effective 180 days after it is signed into law by President Bush on April 20. The reform bill, which has stalled in Congress for more than seven years, will make filing for bankruptcy more difficult and costly, and will enhance the rights of creditors.
NEW YORK, NY - The Supreme Court ruled on Monday April 4, 2005, that creditors may not seize Individual Retirement Accounts when people file for bankruptcy.
NEW YORK, NY - As anticipated, Senator Charles Grassley(R-Iowa) introduced comprehensive bankruptcy reform legislation, revised for the 2005 legislative session, last week with several co-sponsors including a democratic senator.
NEW YORK, NY -- The rules regarding settlements of pre-bankruptcy lawsuits just got tougher for debtors as a result of the Supreme Court's 7-2 opinion reversing and remanding to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals its decision last year in re Warner (Archer v. Warner), 283 F.3d 230 (4th Cir. 2002).
NEW YORK, NY -- In a prior release, available on our What's New page, dated April 11, 2002, Michael Moskowitz, a New York bankruptcy practitioner counseled that even bankruptcy experts and courts can and often do disagree about how best to advise a potential bankruptcy debtor facing substantial, arguably non-dischargeable, fraud or intentional, tort claims. Until now it has largely depended on where a debtor lives.
NEW YORK, NY -- Sweeping consumer bankruptcy reform has been promised and much ballyhooed in the media for several years. While bankruptcy experts around the nation are uncertain about the ultimate fate of major reform legislation, according to Michael L. Moskowitz, a bankruptcy attorney who has closely followed the bills, the House adopted the most recent bankruptcy reform legislation late Wednesday, March 19, 2003, that would toughen bankruptcy rules for individuals and corporations.
NEW YORK, NY -- Even bankruptcy experts and courts can disagree about whether and how to settle a potentially non-dischargeable fraud or intentional tort claim.
Do 'All or Nothing' Reaffirmations Violate The Automatic Stay? No says the First Circuit Court of Appeals, emphatically
NEW YORK, NY -- Section 524(c) and (d) of the Bankruptcy Code set forth the basis for reaffirmation agreements in chapter 7 bankruptcy cases. A reaffirmation is an agreement to pay a dischargeable debt that meets the requirements of these sections. Any other agreement to pay a discharged or dischargeable debt is without legal effect. These sections of the bankruptcy code are a result of coercive and deceptive tactics used by creditors to secure reaffirmation of discharged debts.
Many people with less than perfect credit find it difficult to obtain accurate credit information. And credit reports, even when obtained, regularly contain errors or omissions. Judgments, repossessions, slow payments, compromises, liens, and bankruptcies are irregularly reported by lenders or haphazardly acquired from public record databases by consumer reporting agencies ("CRAs").
(As adopted by the New York Administrative Board of the Courts)
Reciprocal trust, courtesy and respect are the hallmarks of the attorney-client relationship. Within that relationship, the client looks to the attorney for expertise, education, sound judgment, protection, advocacy and representation. These expectations can be achieved only if the client fulfills the following responsibilities:
Sweeping consumer bankruptcy reform has been promised and much ballyhooed in the media for several years now. As the current bills languish in Congress, bankruptcy experts around the nation are kept guessing about the ultimate fate of major reform legislation.